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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Found a dealer that seems to be fairly confident they’ll get what we request from Toyota so long as we shoot for an xle or le, of course. We’re about to pull the trigger, but looking at all the options, up charges, and add-one of the online configurator I’m wondering what current owners have regretted and/or been very satisfied with in their vehicles. Looking back, would you change anything if you could (only things that are actually changeable/configurable, not preferences like removable second row seats) compared to what you ended up with? Or alternatively, do you think we’ll regret any of the configurable options we’ve chosen in the photo?

The attached photo is what we’re hoping for, then we’d add aftermarket mud flaps (forum folks seem to think the OEM ones are undersized), all weather mats (better for the extra-long travel of the middle row seats), and probably an aftermarket hitch for increased cargo capacity since the middle row can’t be removed.

The wife and I will have three kids when the van arrives—two forward facing car seats and one in an infant carrier if anyone thinks that’s relevant.
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If you have 3 kids, Id opt in for an 8 pass option.
our siennas have been an 8 pass and we do not regret that decision, even though the 8th pass seat is not as comfortable as the rest of them, it definitely is useful for unexpected passenger (grandma decided to go on a grocery run with the fam, a friend of my son had to go with us after school etc etc)
also, get the spare tire option...... its 75 bucks and it just gives you that extra piece of mind.
 

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Is that picture the options you want? Or what the dealer is scheduled to receive?
I haven’t seen roof rails by themselves on an LE or XLE without the “plus package” which I didn’t get but would recommend if available.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
If you have 3 kids, Id opt in for an 8 pass option.
our siennas have been an 8 pass and we do not regret that decision, even though the 8th pass seat is not as comfortable as the rest of them, it definitely is useful for unexpected passenger (grandma decided to go on a grocery run with the fam, a friend of my son had to go with us after school etc etc)
also, get the spare tire option...... its 75 bucks and it just gives you that extra piece of mind.
Are you saying you prefer the 8-seater when the kids are in the car seat stage, as they age, or both? Our thinking was that in the carseat stage, 3 carseats across the middle would essentially make the entire back row inaccessible and the 8-seater would basically become a 5-seater with a big trunk or at best with the center seat of the middle row removed, 7 whose back row is more difficult to access (due to the 4” console) than a traditional 7 seater. Figured a prospective 6th or 7th passenger would fare better with an open center. A lot of that may change in the next (carseat-less) phase of life…but it’s hard to imagine at this point!

Definitely see the logic of the spare and agree with the sentiment.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Is that picture the options you want? Or what the dealer is scheduled to receive?
I haven’t seen roof rails by themselves on an LE or XLE without the “plus package” which I didn’t get but would recommend if available.
Those are the specs I’d plan to request. Haven’t officially put the request in yet, as gasp I originally planned to purchase a 3-5 year old Odyssey…but realized a new Sienna is literally cheaper on an annualized basis (thanks hybrid). Still figuring all this out. Perhaps I won’t be able to get the roof rails separately. I honestly don’t have a great use case for them at this point, but from what I understand, they’re a lot better and easier to add from the factory so figured, why not?

Originally planned to request the plus package, but am having a hard time trying to justify the additional $2,000 for what seems to amount to a 1500w charger and better speakers…and keep talking myself out of it. Curious what others come back with on this though.
 

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Those are the specs I’d plan to request. Haven’t officially put the request in yet, as gasp I originally planned to purchase a 3-5 year old Odyssey…but realized a new Sienna is literally cheaper on an annualized basis (thanks hybrid). Still figuring all this out. Perhaps I won’t be able to get the roof rails separately. I honestly don’t have a great use case for them at this point, but from what I understand, they’re a lot better and easier to add from the factory so figured, why not?

Originally planned to request the plus package, but am having a hard time trying to justify the additional $2,000 for what seems to amount to a 1500w charger and better speakers…and keep talking myself out of it. Curious what others come back with on this though.
Gotcha, interesting… the dealers in my are are only getting in Platinum models in bronze and charging $62k. We ended up getting a ‘21 CPO XLE AWD instead .
 

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Are you saying you prefer the 8-seater when the kids are in the car seat stage, as they age, or both? Our thinking was that in the carseat stage, 3 carseats across the middle would essentially make the entire back row inaccessible and the 8-seater would basically become a 5-seater with a big trunk or at best with the center seat of the middle row removed, 7 whose back row is more difficult to access (due to the 4” console) than a traditional 7 seater. Figured a prospective 6th or 7th passenger would fare better with an open center. A lot of that may change in the next (carseat-less) phase of life…but it’s hard to imagine at this point!

Definitely see the logic of the spare and agree with the sentiment.
Ok, here goes:
we have a 5 and a 8 year old: the 8th seater sienna was excellent for when they were using car seats (full blown britax car seats with isofix latches, and when they were newborns we used the britax rear facing system with base.) The smaller kid was always latched on ONE of the middle row seats, the bigger kid was latched on the third row seat.

you can use a two seat config on the third row seat and the middle row seat you can put your newborn with a rear facing seat on the middle and your wife can seat in the middle seat with your newborn.
Remember the versatility of the 8th seat..... you can remove it when you dont need it.
My train of thought has always been "better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it."
Now that my kids use only booster seats (before you jump into conclusions they are big kids and use boosters not because their age, but because of their weight and size) they use the middle row (we are a family of four, but when grandma and grandad travel with us, or when the wife carpools kids, our kids go in the third row and middle row is used for guests.
 

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When we had our 7-seater 2008 Sienna with three kids in car seats, we had no problems. We like and recommend the 7 seater, because you never need to fold up the seats to access the rear-row.. just walk through the middle. Especially with the 7-seater 2021+ models with the long-slide second row, you could stagger the seats and be able to access all seats quite easily.

Absolutely get the spare tire and roof rails now. They are cheap factory options that are expensive or impossible to add after the fact.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Gotcha, interesting… the dealers in my are are only getting in Platinum models in bronze and charging $62k. We ended up getting a ‘21 CPO XLE AWD instead .
The salesman at the first dealer I called laughed at me when I told him I was interested in buying a new Sienna and said it would be 2+ years at their dealership. The second dealership wouldn’t even let me talk to a salesman when I mentioned a Sienna. Third dealership told me to call back in a month. 4th dealership is the largest in our state and said they have about 50 deposits in front of me but get 10-15 in each month. Said currently the person who’s waiting the longest at their dealership put their deposit down in March. He said they’re telling everyone 3-6 months but to expect closer to 6 months than 3. Seemed like a great opportunity in this market, and as a plus, they charge MSRP. Said some of the accessories are hard to get on them before they’re shipped, but that they order them separately and install at their dealership. …again I’m new to all this, but seemed legit to me!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Ok, here goes:
we have a 5 and a 8 year old: the 8th seater sienna was excellent for when they were using car seats (full blown britax car seats with isofix latches, and when they were newborns we used the britax rear facing system with base.) The smaller kid was always latched on ONE of the middle row seats, the bigger kid was latched on the third row seat.

you can use a two config on the third row seat and the middle row seat you can put your newborn with a rear facing seat on the middle and your wife can seat in the middle seat with your newborn.
Remember the versatility of the 8th seat..... you can remove it when you dont need it.
My train of thought has always been "better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it."
Now that my kids use only booster seats (before you jump into conclusions they are big kids and use boosters not because their age, but because of their weight and size) they use the middle row (we are a family of four, but when grandma and grandad travel with us, or when the wife carpools kids, our kids go in the third row and middle row is used for guests.
Definitely appreciate the explanation. Decision fatigue is real. I think we need to head to Costco and find one in the parking lot and ask to check it out! Haha—hard to feel the space or even visualize the different combination and configurations without having one physically present. (And no dealership within 2 hours has one!)
 

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The salesman at the first dealer I called laughed at me when I told him I was interested in buying a new Sienna and said it would be 2+ years at their dealership. The second dealership wouldn’t even let me talk to a salesman when I mentioned a Sienna. Third dealership told me to call back in a month. 4th dealership is the largest in our state and said they have about 50 deposits in front of me but get 10-15 in each month. Said currently the person who’s waiting the longest at their dealership put their deposit down in March. He said they’re telling everyone 3-6 months but to expect closer to 6 months than 3. Seemed like a great opportunity in this market, and as a plus, they charge MSRP. Said some of the accessories are hard to get on them before they’re shipped, but that they order them separately and install at their dealership. …again I’m new to all this, but seemed legit to me!
your last dealership seems like he is telling the truth.... i would go with them
 

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Definitely appreciate the explanation. Decision fatigue is real. I think we need to head to Costco and find one in the parking lot and ask to check it out! Haha—hard to feel the space or even visualize the different combination and configurations without having one physically present. (And no dealership within 2 hours has one!)
I feel you.... I suggested to the wife to get a 7 seater now that the kids are bigger and she refused... now I know why, flash carpools are a real thing. Two days after we got our new sienna she sent me a picture with 6 kids in the back with the caption "your son invited his friends, and your other son also wanted to invite his friends"........
She also refused softex "leather" (our previous sienna was "pleather") and we hated every single moment we had them (except on winter). Cloth seats are a must for us, we live in Laredo TX, so heat is a big issue for us.

I have a friend who had a 7 seater 2011 sienna and he got a CPO 2019 8 seater sienna because he could not wait for a new one. He tells me that he would not go back to a 7 seater.
I dont want to confuse you more, I wanted to give you a real perspective on an actual 8 seater user.

If you want to discuss the quality issues between a GEN3 and a GEN4 I can blow your mind and this would be an even longer post.
But rest assured that right now the best minivan you can get is the sienna
 

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Also forgot to add:
We also got the roof rails, oem rubber mats, and door sill protectors and spare tire.... I kind of regret getting the door sill protectors since its just a sticker embossed with the word "Sienna"... looks great, dont get me wrong but I was not aware that these exist, are plug and play and I just cant justify removing the ones I have and throwing them on the trash because my cheapskate side will not allow me to do so.
But if you can
get these:
2021 Sienna Illuminated Door Sill Kit PT942-08210 | eBay
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I feel you.... I suggested to the wife to get a 7 seater now that the kids are bigger and she refused... now I know why, flash carpools are a real thing. Two days after we got our new sienna she sent me a picture with 6 kids in the back with the caption "your son invited his friends, and your other son also wanted to invite his friends"........
She also refused softex "leather" (our previous sienna was "pleather") and we hated every single moment we had them (except on winter). Cloth seats are a must for us, we live in Laredo TX, so heat is a big issue for us.

I have a friend who had a 7 seater 2011 sienna and he got a CPO 2019 8 seater sienna because he could not wait for a new one. He tells me that he would not go back to a 7 seater.
I dont want to confuse you more, I wanted to give you a real perspective on an actual 8 seater user.

If you want to discuss the quality issues between a GEN3 and a GEN4 I can blow your mind and this would be an even longer post.
But rest assured that right now the best minivan you can get is the sienna
I hear ya. I can hardly believe I’m considering buying a new vehicle. Never, ever would I have imagined I’d be a new car purchaser, but from a purely financial perspective, new is a no brainer right now.

At nearly $50k, I also can’t believe we’d be getting pleather, but alas, here we are. It’s a terrible time to need a van. My wife’s health issues somewhat dictate having heated seats. I have a hard time justifying $50k of pleather, but $60k for real leather is just too bonkers for us to even consider. Heated cloth doesn’t seem to be an option. Different necessities for different climates here, I suppose.

Did I mention I hate buying vehicles? 🥴
 

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I am very happy I got the 7 passenger because it has the seat belts in the seat and not the wall (and also the super long slide seats). This makes it much easier to move the middle row and also for using the seat belts (and getting in and out). The opening between the middle seats is also very handy for stuff and for kids getting in and out.

I am very glad I got the XLE as well. It's worth it for the softex alone. You don't want cloth seats with three kids - I made that mistake with my last vehicle!

Overall I love my van. You are smart to get the roof rails if you might ever use a rack. I would also strongly consider the spare tire, since it can't be added later (except at a ridiculous cost and difficulty).
 

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The salesman at the first dealer I called laughed at me when I told him I was interested in buying a new Sienna and said it would be 2+ years at their dealership. The second dealership wouldn’t even let me talk to a salesman when I mentioned a Sienna. Third dealership told me to call back in a month. 4th dealership is the largest in our state and said they have about 50 deposits in front of me but get 10-15 in each month. Said currently the person who’s waiting the longest at their dealership put their deposit down in March. He said they’re telling everyone 3-6 months but to expect closer to 6 months than 3. Seemed like a great opportunity in this market, and as a plus, they charge MSRP. Said some of the accessories are hard to get on them before they’re shipped, but that they order them separately and install at their dealership. …again I’m new to all this, but seemed legit to me!
Just a word of caution and it might be a completely different situation. About a month ago we were looking at the odyssey and the dealer said they sell at MSRP. I asked him about 3 times to confirm before I went in to put a deposit down. Get there and the car had about $6k worth of dealer add on’s. I said the car haven’t even been delivered yet so these aren’t on the vehicle yet and I didn’t want them. They took off about $2k of them or so but then admitted they couldn’t take off anymore because that was their “mark up” but at least they were giving the customer something for the extra price. Obviously floor mats, alarm, etc don’t cost $4k. Might be a completely different situation where you are but figured I’d let you know. I’m in San Diego btw.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Just a word of caution and it might be a completely different situation. About a month ago we were looking at the odyssey and the dealer said they sell at MSRP. I asked him about 3 times to confirm before I went in to put a deposit down. Get there and the car had about $6k worth of dealer add on’s. I said the car haven’t even been delivered yet so these aren’t on the vehicle yet and I didn’t want them. They took off about $2k of them or so but then admitted they couldn’t take off anymore because that was their “mark up” but at least they were giving the customer something for the extra price. Obviously floor mats, alarm, etc don’t cost $4k. Might be a completely different situation where you are but figured I’d let you know. I’m in San Diego btw.
Definitely appreciate the word of caution. I’ll be sure to get everything in writing as best I can before committing!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I am very happy I got the 7 passenger because it has the seat belts in the seat and not the wall (and also the super long slide seats). This makes it much easier to move the middle row and also for using the seat belts (and getting in and out). The opening between the middle seats is also very handy for stuff and for kids getting in and out.

I am very glad I got the XLE as well. It's worth it for the softex alone. You don't want cloth seats with three kids - I made that mistake with my last vehicle!

Overall I love my van. You are smart to get the roof rails if you might ever use a rack. I would also strongly consider the spare tire, since it can't be added later (except at a ridiculous cost and difficulty).
Thanks for the info! It seems we’re thinking alike…

Curious, have you had experience with car seats on the softex? We’ve had genuine leather with seat protectors in our ‘14 Highlander…does the softex indent as easily? Do you think car seat dents would come out as they do with leather?
 
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